Medicare Enrollment Information
Medicare is Free: Arguably one of the biggest Medicare misconceptions is that since it's a critically important social program, it's free. In reality, though some aspects of the program may be offered "free," retirees are expected cover certain expenses on their own.
For example, Part A, otherwise known as hospital insurance, has no premium attached if you've earned 40 work credits throughout your lifetime. However, Medicare Part B (outpatient services) has a standard premium of $144.60 for 2020. Part D, or prescription drug plans, also requires a monthly premium.
On top of premiums, consumers could be responsible for deductibles and out-of-pocket costs. There are no annual out-of-pocket limits with original Medicare, meaning that retirees are often responsible for about 20% of their medical expenses. Today, on average, the estimates for the out-of-pocket expenses will be $142,500 over a lifetime. There are ways to minimize these out-of-pocket expenses with either a Medicare Supplement Plan also known as a Medigap Plan with a Part D Prescription Drug Plan or a Medicare Advantage Plan also known as Part C.